Finding a Home for Eat Me
After that night at Telephone Bar when Eat Me was born, I frogmarched Chef A up and down Convent Road, Silom, and along almost every side street between the river and Sukhumvit 30, looking for a home for our new restaurant.
My sister Cherie and I spent a year developing the project, travelling back and forth between Australia and Thailand, while we looked for a location. Chef A was living at Tapas Bar at the time and I’d crash at his place when I was in Bangkok.
I told Chef A he needed to start to develop a menu and a vision as to what he wanted to do and we started to work on a business plan.
As we pounded the streets, I told him to write down every single telephone number of places he saw even if he didn’t think the place was perfectly suitable. I said you never know what’s going to be on the inside.
We found one location that was affordable but it wasn’t ideal. It would have been a complete disaster for evenings, although good for lunches, but we were advised to keep waiting for the perfect place.
The landlord was encouraging us to come look at it, though, and was offering free months rent, as the economy had crashed and he needed to lease the place.
So we were on our way to look at that place when we swung into Convent Road and started walking down the soi (lane) where Eat Me is now and I realised where we were.
I had no idea the soi was so close to Convent Road and as we wandered down on our way to see the other place I spotted this building for rent, but quickly dismissed it as it looked far too small. Chef A, however, whipped out his notepad and said, “I’m writing down the number anyway, like you said.”
I kept quiet, as I didn’t think it was worth it – I thought it was at the wrong end of a bad street.
A couple of weeks later, we were scouting around again and Chef A said, “Oh, you want to look at that building again?” and I said “Sure!” not knowing what he was talking about.
Chef A took me another way and we walked off lovely tree-lined Convent Road, and there it was! I realised it was so close. It wasn’t in the middle of nowhere – it was in the middle of absolutely everything.
So we called the number and the maid was here cleaning and she brought us inside, bypassing the shop that was in the area that is now our downstairs bar.
I had believed it was a tiny three-metre square place, but when she took us upstairs into this wonderful L-shape space, it was so lovely, and there was a rush of excitement.
I was so scared someone might have seen us that I wanted to sign a deal right then and there.
It was time to start a restaurant…